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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Farm Rich Brand Frozen Food Products E. coli Outbreak Grows

Five additional ill persons have been reported from California (1), Colorado (1), Florida (2), and Ohio (1).

The CDC announced an additional five ill, bringing the total to 32 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O121 reported from 18 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (1), Florida (2), Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), New York (4), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2).  81% of ill persons are 21 years of age or younger.  35% of ill persons have been hospitalized. Two ill people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.

The outbreak strain of STEC O121 has been identified in two different Farm Rich brand frozen products collected from the homes of two ill persons.  The Outbreaks Section of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) Eastern Laboratory identified the outbreak strain from individually wrapped Farm Rich brand frozen mini pizza slices from an opened package collected from an ill person’s home in Texas.  The New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratory, identified the outbreak strain from an opened package of Farm Rich brand frozen chicken quesadillas from an ill person’s home.

On April 4, 2013, Rich Products Corporation expanded its recall to include all Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan’s brand frozen food products produced at its Waycross, Georgia plant between July 1, 2011 and March 29, 2013 due to possible contamination with E. coli O121.  The recalled products had “Best By” dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014.  Download PDF of retail establishments: 025-2013, Frozen Chicken Quesadilla and Other Snack Products (E. coli O121).